Measurement and evaluation are important tools in both the public and private sectors, in functional areas as diverse as business and sales, data analytics, education, social work, and international development, among others. Project managers use monitoring and evaluation to understand progress, outcomes, and impact. Such an understanding can be helpful as we manage current and craft new projects.
In this series on Measurement and Evaluation Jobs, several practitioners discuss the use and importance of measurement and evaluation in their job fields. The diverse experiences of these practitioners show us some commonalities, including how measurement and evaluation can lead to increased effectiveness of projects, programs, and overall operations.
This is particularly the case in my field of international development. For example, in my work in community development, monitoring and evaluation helps me to understand how and why a project is or is not working. Monitoring of ongoing project activities can be helpful, especially when it pinpoints activities that might need to be changed. In this way, ongoing monitoring often helps explain short-term problems or bottlenecks, and at the same time points us in the direction of how to correct these. Of course, monitoring also tells us what we are doing well. Likewise, summative evaluations conducted after the close of a project help us to understand outcomes and perhaps impact, and as such, craft better projects in the future.
Authors in the series tell us that carrying out measurement and evaluation effectively requires a set of specialized skills, including design, methods, cross cultural communications, and leadership. Authors also note that measurement and evaluation training in topic areas such as problem analysis, evaluation design, and qualitative and quantitative methods are important first steps towards preparing yourself for a career in this area. Practical experiences through volunteer or coursework, such as those provided in American University’s School of Professional and Extended Studies Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation, are also important ways that students can build resumes.
Measurement & Evaluation Jobs Articles:
- Careers in International Development
- Monitoring & Evaluation in Governance
- Grant Evaluation as a Career
About the Author
Dr. Beverly Peters has more than twenty years of experience teaching, conducting qualitative research, and managing community development, microcredit, infrastructure, and democratization projects in several countries in Africa. As a consultant, Dr. Peters worked on EU and USAID funded infrastructure, education, and microcredit projects in South Africa and Mozambique. She also conceptualized and developed the proposal for Darfur Peace and Development Organization’s women’s crisis center, a center that provides physical and economic assistance to women survivors of violence in the IDP camps in Darfur. Dr. Peters has a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Learn more about Dr. Peters.
To learn more about American University’s online MS in Measurement & Evaluation or online Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring & Evaluation, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.